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Adult Epilepsy

Examples of adult epilepsy include the following conditions as well as childhood epilepsies and epilepsy syndromes that progess into adulthood:

What are partial seizures?

Partial seizures begin with an electrical discharge in one limited area of the brain. Some are related to head injury, brain infection, stroke, or tumor, but in most cases the cause is unknown.

A determination used to further classify partial seizures is whether consciousness (the ability to respond and remember) is "impaired" or "preserved." The difference may seem obvious, but really there are many degrees of impairment or preservation of consciousness.

Treatment for partial seizures may include prescribing anticonvulsants, a class of medications used to treat seizures. Surgical treatment may also be recommended, depending on individual diagnosis.

Generalized tonic-clonic seizures

This type of seizure used to be known as a grand mal seizure and is characterized by the tonic phase: muscle stiffening, crying or groaning and loss of consciousness. After the tonic phase comes the clonic phase: arms and legs jerk rapidly and rhythmically. Sometimes bladder or bowel control is lost and consciousness returns slowly. Often the patient feels drugged or drowsy. These seizures generally can last 1 to 3 minutes. If they last longer, they usually require emergency treatment. Generalized tonic-clinic seizures affect both children and adults.

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME)

People with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) experience mild myoclonic seizures, characterized by quick little jerks of the arms, shoulder or legs. The myoclonic jerks, which usually occur early in the morning, are occasionally followed by a tonic-clonic seizure.

Listen Now

Adult Epilepsy Surgery Neurosurgeon W. Stanley Anderson, M.D., talks about surgical treatment options for adults with epilepsy.

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For more information about adult epilepsy or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.


Scheduled for Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins?

Watch the patient experience video before you come

ONLINE SEMINAR: Epilepsy Surgery: Putting the Puzzle Together

Did you miss the online discussion with neurosurgeon William Anderson on epilepsy surgery? Dr. Anderson discusses treatment option for epilepsy and recent surgical advances that may offer help where medical management and medications have not.

Watch the recording here.

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